Does Your Company Have What It Takes to Offer the Best CX and Keep Your Customers Loyal?

We interviewed Sherin Yassin who is currently SVP and Head of Corporate Marketing at Majid Al Futtaim, who shared her knowledge and insights on the hottest subject discussed in customer experience circles.

How is the market changing from year to year when it comes to customers? What are the biggest challenges industries need to deal with?

Online shopping continues to increase

Today, customers have more choices: more products to buy, more information to influence purchasing decisions, and more devices and channels over which to seek customer service. What they don't have is more time. Customers are increasingly valuing their time and see that the most important thing a company can do is to provide them with good online customer experience.

Challenge – ensure that your online experience exceeds your offline one, make it easy for consumers to get what they want and recommend relevant solutions – know your customers through data. Companies need to invest in data strategy and build a solid one since this is how they can get to the consumer heart!

The need for personalisation continues

Consumers are unwilling to accept mass when they can have something tailored just for them and companies are picking up on this! DTC trend is increasing with much more personalised offerings and better solutions due to customers willing to share their data, their preferences, their needs for someone to listen and give them exactly what they want whether it’s offer, product or solution.

Challenge – companies look at personalisation as expensive vs. mass solution. The key is innovation and how do you develop solutions that have personalisation at the heart of it to drive engagement and also affinity to your products and then you will gain market share and also revenue. Test and fail – but do it quickly, embrace a strong innovation culture to help you develop products and services that offer personalised services that make you understand more your customer and therefore continue to be innovative.

Experiences vs. brands

Consumers are more and more wanting experiences that are memorable and willing to pay for them and looking for brands that enhance their experience vs. offer them and sell them products. At Apple they don’t sell us a phone, they sell us an experience-based solution that comes with a phone. Consumers want to enhance their everyday value and especially the experiential value! Brands that get this faster than others dominate the market and have brand loyalty.

Challenge – invest in your CX agenda and don’t make it about the numbers but rather about the culture, ensure you move from making CX a function to making it embedded in your everyday thinking and every function should be CX focused in the job of everyone vs. one team! Make it a movement and transformational agenda for your business.


How to successfully prevent customer churn? Is there an easy way?

To start churn prevention is not easy but totally doable! The key is to understand customer sentiment and why they would ever leave you. Studies show that more than 60% of customers leave because they think a company doesn’t care. So ensure you connect with them, engage with them – the better engagement, the higher retention.

I don’t want to state the obvious but many standard tactics work and any company should ensure they adopt them:

  • Another way to prevent churn is to actively engage your customers with your product. Provide versatile content about the key functional benefits of your service and offer regular news updates & great engaging newsletter (involve them)
  • The best way to avoid churn is to prevent it from happening in the first place so use RFM models to help segment your base and understand who is in high risk and why
  • Define your most valuable customers and ensure they get special service since they are the top tier of your business so what additional you are providing to them
  • Offer incentives, such as discounts and special offers, to those customers who were identified as likely to defect but the trick is everyone offers discounts – but how do you use your data analytics to offer them meaningful offers and incentives that make them stay! This is how you ensure you are different
  • Complaints are like tips of the icebergs so analyse your data and continuously understand what issues come up and from who, to understand customer profiles personas and what bothers them!
  • Ensure you have best teams managing your churn customers
  • Competitive advantages are like honey that glues your customers to you. Analyse what it is that you do better or what makes you unique. Now think – do your customers know about it?
  • Finally, one proven method is subscription model and mainly longer term ones. Those requiring a lot of thinking by the customer but once they do it, they tend to stay with it – so experiment with it and what is appealing to ensure you get the stickiness.


How do you imagine a successful loyalty program for your customers? What are the main attributes of a good loyalty program?

I don’t need to imagine the program, we have a great group-wide program at MAF and the reason behind why I think it will be great is because we should always start with the customer so my formula for success would be:

  • Ensure that you co-created the program by listening to what customers want & let them shape it with you
  • Ensure it is simple because the simpler it is, the better usage you will get
  • Ensure you have truly competitive advantages – not many but even few, but they should be meaningful and relevant to your customers since differentiation is the key
  • Ensure freshness of the program doesn’t have all your ideas on the table from day one, build on it and expand it as you even learn what customers like and love
  • Be ok to fail – test and try new things and if they don’t stick, change them but ensure you offer variety and learn from how consumers engage and adopt and use them
  • Ensure your CX strategy is fully linked to your loyalty strategy, continuous improvement and mapping of pain points and finding innovative solutions
  • Measure, measure and measure success and monitor performance to ensure you can course correct as needed
  • I always say the world doesn’t need another loyalty card, customers need experiences and brands that make their everyday life better and easier through their experience


Sherin Yassin is the SVP, Head of Marketing at Majid Al Futtaim. In her current role, Sherin is responsible for the development and implementation of growth strategies that strengthen the Majid Al Futtaim brand awareness, value and equity. Sherin is leading a cross-functional team that focuses on an end-to-end transformation journey across Majid Al Futtaim businesses in the areas of Loyalty, corporate marketing, Digital, Campaigns and Customer intelligence.  Sherin brings 23 years wealth of Marketing experience, managing a number of global brands across many industries and geographies including; PepsiCo Foods and Beverages in MEA and North America, Vodafone Telecom, Arthur Andresen Consultancy. Prior to her role at Majid Al Futtaim, Sherin held the position of Senior Director of Marketing for Global brands at PepsiCo Foods Canada; where she led the growth strategy for PepsiCo’s global snacks businesses including Lay’s, Doritos, Ruffles and Tostitos. Sherin holds an MBA and a Bachelor of Arts Degree from The American University in Cairo, Egypt. Sherin enjoys mentoring Marketing fresh graduates and undergraduates, travelling to learn more about new and diverse cultures and supporting her two boys in their competitive basketball career aspiration.

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